Immunological Differences in Women Compared with Men: Overview and Contributing Factors


Ossama Abbas, Department of Dermatology, American University of Beirut Medical Center, P.O. Box 11-0236, Riad El Solh St, Beirut, Lebanon. E-mail:


Citation: Ghazeeri G, Abdullah L, Abbas O. Immunological differences in women compared with men: overview and contributing factors. Am J Reprod Immunol 2011; 66: 163–169

Gender differences in the innate and adaptive immune systems have long been observed in humans. These immunological differences in immune function manifest as diverse susceptibilities to different types of infections and varied risks of developing autoimmune disorders and maybe even, cancers. Several factors contribute to the development of this immunological dimorphism including sex hormones, genetic makeup, environmental causes, and more recently microchimerism. Although the aim behind this sexual immune dimorphism is still unclear, it is tempting to believe that the higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases in women somehow serves the higher evolutionary goal of reproduction and creating new life.